1879 $20 Metric Twenty Dollar, Judd-1644, Pollock-1844, Lo...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1879 Metric Twenty Dollar
1879 $20 Metric Twenty Dollar, Judd-1644, Pollock-1844, Low R.7,
PR64 Red and Brown PCGS. Ex: Simpson. Robert Coulton Davis
published the first extensive study of U.S. pattern coinage in a
series of articles in the Coin Collector's Journal from
1885-1887. His description of the dies for the Metric twenty dollar
Judd-1644, PR64 Red and Brown
Quintuple Stella in Copper
"No. 451 - Obv. ★ 30★ G★ 1.5★ S★ 3.5★ C★ 35★ G★ R★ A★ M★ S★ Head of Liberty to left, the hair tied in a knot behind. Upon the coronet: LIBERTY. In ex., 1879. Rev. Similar to the regular die of the year. Bears motto: DEO EST GLORIA within circle of stars instead of "In God we trust." Double Eagle. Metals; gold, copper."
Davis was personally familiar with this rare pattern issue, as he had single examples of both the gold and copper variants in his remarkable collection, which was sold posthumously by New York Coin & Stamp in January 1890. The copper piece, Judd-1644, sold in lot 1127a for a modest $3.25. Recent sales include the PR64+ Red and Brown NGC example in lot 4026 of the Eric P. Newman Collection (Heritage, 4/2013), which realized $188,000.
The Metric twenty dollar pattern of 1879 is closely related to the famous four dollar stella, which was produced the same year. The coins were intended to serve as a kind of international currency, similar to the present day euro. The weight pattern recorded around the obverse is an exact five times multiple of the values on the stella, which led to the "Quintuple Stella" nickname for the Metric twenty dollar pattern. USPatterns.com estimates the surviving population of Judd-1644 at about a dozen examples, at least four of which have been gilt.
The present coin is an attractive Choice example, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements. Shades of olive and greenish-gray toning blanket the well-preserved surfaces, with a few hints of original red and reflective fields underneath. Population: 4 in 64 (2 in 64+) Red and Brown, 1 finer (8/20).
Ex: Public Auction Sale (Kreisberg-Schulman, 5/1966), lot 1398.
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2AJ2, PCGS# 72023)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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